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  1. #1
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    Default Botswana & Caprivi

    Hello everyone,

    We will explore Botswana from halfway November. It's the first time we will be in Botswana and also the first time we will be camping. We would be pleased to get information about things to do and NOT to do, can we carry any food in the car, etc.
    Our trip will be as follow :
    18 November Ghanzi : Thakadu Camp(BB) 1 night
    Maun :Audi Camp(BB) 1 night
    Makgadi : Tiaans Camp (CAMP) 2 nights
    Okavango West : Guma Lagoon (CAMP) 2 nights
    Divundu : Nunda River Lodge (BB) 1 night
    Kongola : Mazambala Island (CAMP) 2 nights
    Kasane : Mwandi View Camp(CAMP) 3 nights
    Chobe : Ihaha Camp (CAMP) 1 night
    Chobe : Savuti Camp (CAMP) 1 night
    Moremi: Kwai Camp (CAMP) 1 night
    Moremi : 3rd Bridge (CAMP) 2 nights
    Maun : Tshima Bush Camp(BB)
    6 December Ghanzi : Thakadu Camp (BB)

    We're traveling with 2 cars/4people

    Friendly Regards from Bruges, Belgium

    Jan

  2. #2
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    Hi Jan and welcome to the forum.
    For your questions there are a lot of answers on the relevant sections of the forum and particularly in the stickies when it comes to general info.

    Wit respect to food there are basic rules not to let it attract wild animals (elephants in particular and monkey on opportunities). In Botswana you are allowed to carry meat from South to North and from East to West but in general not the other way due to quarantien issues. It might be more strict if there is an outbreak of F&M in the region.

    Your itinerary looks fine albeit I don't know exactly what the aim is to stay 3nights at Mwandi camp as there is little to do except as a base to explore the area, meaning Chobe NP. But for that you are already booked at Ihaha.

    If you can still change then consider Mudumu along the Kwando river en-route to Botswana and shorten the stay for Mwandi.
    Mudumu has wildlife and good scenery, worth to stay and not off the track on your route.

    Please also note it will be hot in November so be prepared for the first thunderstorms and have your gear ready, oh did I mention it will be hot.

    Hot means 35-40degC in shade just before the thunderstorms start.

    I am sure yo get more info, so I will leave it to others to also comment.

    Enjoy.
    Walter Rene Gygax
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  3. #3
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    Hi Jan,
    We did a trip in Chobe, Caprivi, Vic Falls in November last year.
    We were unlucky and the rains started 1 week before we arrived, which meant a lot less game around, but otherwise the afternoon thunderstorms made for great sunsets!
    One of the highlights was 2 nights spent on the Chobe River with Kurt's Outfit - Caprivi House Boat Safaris. I cannot recommend it enough. Being on the river all day was amazing! If you have time in Kasane, I would look into this option!
    Also, due to some car trouble, we only spent 1 night in Savute. Next time we will plan on much more time there! There is a lot of driving between Ihaha and Savute, and so much to explore around Savute. We are actually planning 5-7 days there for our next trip!
    I can give more info if you like, but these are my first two tips.

    Also, Mudumu on the Kwando Is AMAZING!!

    Cheers,
    Pieter

  4. #4
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    Where will you be coming from? Johannesburg/Namibia? Are your bookings fixed? Some parts of your trip could be moved around to reduce traveling and to co-ordinate your trip better. Also, you could be rushing things a bit with the long distances to be travelled and you might miss out on some great experiences. I assume that you have been to Vic Falls, Mokoro trip

    Traveling to Maun and then East to Tiaan's and then doubling back on yourself to western Okavango does not seem right and can be re-planned.

    One more campsite - Camp Chobe - in the Caprivi, en route to Botswana is only 4 km's form the Ngoma Bridge border post. It is on the Namibian side of the Chobe river, great camping ground opposite the Chobe game reserve- game sightings albeit from a distance. Only a few well serviced sites right on the waters edge. Restaurant, pub and swimming pool close by at the lodge.

    Kalahari's comment on the heat must not be underestimated!!!! You will suffer if you don't plan to handle this- shade! the use of reflective blankets, etc. There is no shade at Mwandi View (Nil!) and it is right against the new tar road (noise?-out in the open, seems to be secure with fencing right around). If you need to shop/replenish stocks I would suggest to instead spend a night in Kasane- Chobe River Lodge? Then go to Ihaha (security issues, see the other thread on this, maybe reconsider).

    The houseboat options seems a great option too.

    I would agree that you should increase your time in Savuti. Also Black Pools close to South gate in the Moremi is a spot not to miss.

  5. #5
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    Just curious. . . why would you need shade during the day at a camp site if (most) people are out on activities during the day. . . .?

    Tron, you seem to know a lot about the area, have you considered the fact that the NP gates close at 6pm. . .? that is usually the time (most) people return to camp to relax after the day's activity and there is no more traffic on the Transit road to cause 'noise'. . .?

    The lodge you are attempting to bag, is secure (as you mentioned), has a pool and by November (very long way off) will have bar and full restaurant facilities, mokoro trips, quad bike game drives, fishing trips, etc, etc - more than just a "base to explore the area, meaning Chobe NP". . . .I doubt Ihaha has any of that. . .
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  6. #6
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    I hear look out for petty theft at Chobe camp sites (outside of the Reserve).

    Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  7. #7
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    Great to get comment back from my posting in response to giving JanCoene, my advice and comment on his trip planning. I do apologise to JanCoene for taking over this thread, but I'll not apologise for telling it like I see it (I will expand with further comment and advice below) - and please note that I do not claim to know a lot about the area, in fact the opposite. DuggaBoi you use the word "seem" when describing my knowledge about the area I accept the insinuation and do note your unbiased response. I am sure that you do have extensive knowledge on the area!

    Further comment from my side is:

    - Who wants shade during the day? come-on! who does not want it? It is a fact there is no shade. Being one of the minority (as most people are out on an activity) I am not supposed to stay in camp just for a breather or to relax and if I do then I must endure the heat. I did also in my posting state that you need to plan for the heat if you are going to Caprivi/Northern Bots at that time of the year.
    - What (detail if possible) is the list of activities that can be sourced from close proximity to this camping ground at this point in time?
    - No more traffic on the transit road after 18h00 (or there about)? No more noise as everyone (now that it is 18h00) goes home and stays put. Please note that the camping grounds is situated close to two largish villages. There are private vehicles in the area.
    - The camp has a security fence around it, as I mentioned, but I would not say that this means that it is safe and "secure" (like anywhere else in Bots/SA etc)
    - As you say sometime in the near future, but not now, and maybe "by November (very long way off) will have bar and full restaurant facilities, mokoro trips, quad bike game drives, fishing trips, etc, etc". That is really good news. Especially if what you wanted in the first place was only a clean, quiet, spot with good ablutions and relatively safe stop over or camp site.
    - Since the latest security issue at Ihaha- as I have publicly stated on this forum that Ihaha is no longer on my list. Security remains on my list.
    - Also, I don't think comparing Mwandi View with Ihaha does Mwandi View any good. No one goes, or has gone, to Ihaha to drive a quad bike! mokoro ride etc etc. I can imagine the "light footprint" these future activities will have in terms of being green/environmentally friendly.

    A final comment is that I did not attempt to "bag" the "lodge". JanCoene the author of the thread must take it from whence it comes and decide if he accepts any forumite's opinion and advice. I hope this clarifies my opinion.
    Last edited by TRON; 2015/02/23 at 05:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter van Niekerk View Post
    Hi Jan,
    We did a trip in Chobe, Caprivi, Vic Falls in November last year.
    We were unlucky and the rains started 1 week before we arrived, which meant a lot less game around, but otherwise the afternoon thunderstorms made for great sunsets!
    One of the highlights was 2 nights spent on the Chobe River with Kurt's Outfit - Caprivi House Boat Safaris. I cannot recommend it enough. Being on the river all day was amazing! If you have time in Kasane, I would look into this option!
    Also, due to some car trouble, we only spent 1 night in Savute. Next time we will plan on much more time there! There is a lot of driving between Ihaha and Savute, and so much to explore around Savute. We are actually planning 5-7 days there for our next trip!
    I can give more info if you like, but these are my first two tips.

    Also, Mudumu on the Kwando Is AMAZING!!

    Cheers,
    Pieter
    The "Chobe River" refers here to the mighty Zambezi.

    I don't think Curt has done a good job if he couldn't bring this across
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  9. #9
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    I plan something similar end April, but will be staying over in fewer places, staying longer at each spot. We like to explore more. Have done most of the places before. I agree with a previous comment, 2 nights at Savuti will be better, allowing one day to explore.

    The food question I have:

    We will also do Caprivi and Okovango first, stock up in Katima, I hear the border crossing is sticky on taking meat into Botswana from Namibia? Other food? Drinks?

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    Looking again at the planned route, why not skip Maun and Makgadi on way up, allowing more days coming down through Savuti and Moremi. We are not doing the normal camping, standing for excample 5 nights at Xaxanaka, we see rental 4x4 's arriving late at campsites after long days driving, leaving early to make the next camp, racing past wondefull bush to explor and animals to see. The animals is everywhere, but you need time and patience.....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugga Boi View Post
    Just curious. . . why would you need shade during the day at a camp site if (most) people are out on activities during the day. . . .?
    We did Chobe, Savuti, Moremi in October last year and it was extremely hot - over 40C most days. Game viewing is poor in the midday heat so mostly this time is spent back in camp trying to keep cool and resting. Shade is essential - we took a gazebo and were very grateful for it as most trees did not have leaves on yet as the rains had not started.
    Marry an outdoors woman. Then if you throw her out into the yard on a cold night, she can still survive. -
W. C. Fields

  12. #12
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    Hi everyone,
    Thank you all for your replies, it's always difficult travelling to a foreign country for the first time, where to overnight and which route to choose. There will be always pro's & contra's and that is a good thing ! However, it will be a huge adventure for us because it's the first time we will do camping.
    We start our trip in Windhoek and we will meet our friends at GumaLagoon Camp.We would take 1 full day to visit the Vic Falls while we are in Mwandi Camp.
    Friendly regards

    Jan

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  14. #14
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    Caprivi Houseboat Safari's also operate on the Chobe river. They will pick you up at Kasane. It is one of the packages they offer.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for this useful tip!


    Quote Originally Posted by Gillied View Post
    We did Chobe, Savuti, Moremi in October last year and it was extremely hot - over 40C most days. Game viewing is poor in the midday heat so mostly this time is spent back in camp trying to keep cool and resting. Shade is essential - we took a gazebo and were very grateful for it as most trees did not have leaves on yet as the rains had not started.

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